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Poster: Scott Saunders Date: Aug 4, 2004 12:24pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: "It's a Wonderful Life" public domain?

I was reading a little about Frank Capra at the imdb.com. Leonard Maltin's excerpt states that "It's a Wonderful Life" is PD. Is that true? I know it's Leonard Maltin, but I'm skeptical about that.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001008/bio

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Poster: cashel Date: Aug 5, 2004 10:22am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

The tentacles of the Huge USA CORPORATIONS have wrapped themselves around this and other ANCIENT CLASSIC FILMS and with their massive financial power threaten anyone who trifles with this heritage with crippling legal litigation. However there are still a few countries that have resisted their antics. At present,their lobbyists are engaged in a bitter battle with artists in AUSTRALIA. We can only hope that these crooks fail in their attempt to impose usa copyright provisions to Australian Copyright Law.

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Poster: GersonK Date: Aug 4, 2004 2:44pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

Don't have a link handy, but I believe the soundtrack turned out to be copyrighted. It's a freaky case, but the basic upshot is that the whole thing's not PD.

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Poster: cashel Date: Aug 4, 2004 3:34pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

SCOTT ...my reading is that the Sound Track of the movie is Copyright in some countries and Non-Copyright in other countries. I believe that the photographic elements (visual) of the film are in the Public Domain in most countries and may be freely used by anyone. I acknowledge that my reading may be faulty.

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Poster: movie boi Date: Aug 5, 2004 6:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

Here's a detailed write-up on this issue
http://www.film-center.com/canishow.html

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Poster: cashel Date: Aug 5, 2004 9:32am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

my reading of the write-up is that these opinions relate to the copyright law of USA and its acquired colonies such as part of Cuba,Puerto Rica, Hawai etc. Thankfully we are are in the rest of the world are still free and may use films without the restrictions of USA CORPORATION LAW.

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Poster: cashel Date: Aug 4, 2004 1:08pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

That film fascinates me . I believe that Frank Capra was cynical about the values expressed in films like Mr Deeds etc. I suggest that if he could remake "its a wonderful life" he would make many changes. It would be interesting to write a new script wherein the villian(played by l.Barrymore) becomes the wise old hero.We could see the James Stewart character differently and cast him as a typical good-looking ,brash, unprincipled businessman (there are certainly plenty of them in our recent history). If the film is in in the public domain, it is freely open to such an interpretation. A remake could be as simple as removing part of the dialogue and dubbing in new dialogue. Unfortunately, I do NOT have the talents for such a task.

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Poster: ridetheory Date: Aug 5, 2004 11:19am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

Yes. As I remember the story, it was very unsuccessful in its original release and the copyright wasn't renewed. Because it was public domain, it became a cheap thing to show on TV during the holidays, and over the years, this new audience made it a classic. If it hadn't fallen into the public domain, there's a pretty good chance it would be forgotten today.

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Poster: rgs_uk Date: Aug 5, 2004 1:07pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

It's quite possible a copy wouldn't even exist today. You only need to look at what has happened to the most famous films. Even the original negative of the black and white sequences in The Wizard of Oz has been lost (in a fire).

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Poster: tambora Date: Aug 15, 2004 3:25am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'It's a Wonderful Life' public domain?

Not successful? Maybe not monetarily, but it did get nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Incidentially, "The Best Years of Our Lives," William Wyler's masterpiece, won that year, and it also received 7 other Academy Awards, three of which were to actors. Perhaps time has favored "It's a Wonderful Life," but "The Best Years of Our Lives" is a fantastic movie as well and deserved all of its awards.

If "It's a Wonderful Life" is in Public Domain, then why does only one network show it every Christmas? I'm pretty sure NBC (maybe CBS) snatched up the rights to it, and that's why nobody else, not even Turner Classic Movies, ever gets to show it.